A Career in Product Development

If you take a walk through your frequented grocery store, you’ll find that nearly all your regular food purchases have been processed in some way (excluding fresh, non-frozen produce and meat). Every single product on a shelf or in a freezer has undergone the process of “product development.”

Product Development is often the first thing associated with a career in Food Science. It’s the process by which all new food products come to market, or old products are rebranded or innovated. It involves creative ideas, market research, recipe building, testing and retesting, an understanding of food chemistry and engineering, to name a few.

Many modern food marvels are a result of skilled product developers who majored in food science (i.e. Gushers, Cheetos, Pop Rocks, Mountain Dew Baja Blast). Following this path in food science will allow you to understand the recipe generating and testing process, and give you a general understanding of how a product goes from an idea, to the freezer or shelf.

Additionally, new opportunities in the industry are arising to make modern food items more accessible to diverse populations who may have product intolerances, have special dietary restrictions, or are looking to incorporate different nutrients into their daily diet. Opportunities are also expanding in finding more sustainable ways to make food products, as well creating new recipes that limit food waste and more efficiently use what ingredients are available.

Food science at Iowa State is a great option for students as the Center for Crop Utilization Research (CCUR) Pilot Plant offer students real world opportunities to produce ice cream, beer, wine, fermented products, and other items commonly seen in grocery stores. At Iowa State, these opportunities are plenty, and students can find immediate success in their career path.



Institute of Food Technologists

For more information about careers in food science, view the following websites of the Institute of Food Technologists:

Career Services

Prepare for your next job or internship with Career Services, where staff help you with job searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter review. As a student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences or the College of Human Sciences, use the career services offices associated with your college.

To apply for internships and full-time positions, use CyHire, on-campus career fairs, and the college career services offices.

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